Stomping Ground: Third Annual Guitar Pedal Expo in Los Angeles — Review

On March 22, more than 30 effect, guitar and amp manufacturers and retailers descended upon the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, California, for the Third Annual Guitar Pedal Expo.

Guitar World was on hand to check out all the gear. Yes, we left a little deafer and a little poorer, but we also left with a bone-shakingly awesome rig.

The Guitar Pedal Expo, which is open to the public, draws guitarists and bassists of all genres who are eager to add to their effect-pedal arsenal. Since most manufacturers have their own room at the expo, it provides the perfect opportunity to crank up the volume and put each pedal or amp to the test without pissing off passers-by with bits of "Smoke on the Water."

I mean, er, we definitely didn't play "Smoke on the Water." We'd never do that. We ripped through Angus Young riffs all day ... because we are cool.

Exhibitors included The Amp Shop, Antique Electronic Supply, Boss/Roland, Electro-Harmonix, EarthQuaker Devices, F-Pedal, JHS Pedals, Keeley Electronics, Kemper Profiling, Lapdancer Guitars, Menatone, Moog, Mugzey Music, MXR/Way Huge, Nace Amps, Neunaber Audio Effects, Oddfellows Pedals, Red Planet, Seymour Duncan, Solo Dallas, Strymon, Surreal Amplification, Tone Bakery, Tone Fix Pedalboard Accessories, Truetone Music, Wampler Effects and Xotic.

Visitors also got a chance to witness six pedal gurus—Brian Neunaber of Neunaber Audio Effects, Kevin Beller of Seymour Duncan, Brian Wampler of Wampler Effects, Josh Scott of JHS Pedals, Jamie Stillman of Earthquaker Devices and Robert Keeley of Keeley Electronics—speak about the industry, how they got started building pedals and the trials and travails of running an effect-pedal company.

Show producer Loni Specter's next event, the 7th Annual New York Amp Show and Custom Guitar Show, will take place June 6 at the Marriott-Hanover in Whippany, New Jersey.

For more information, visit

Photos: Anna Blumenthal

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